Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're from Thailand then it's your lucky day! We're featuring our Chiang Mai-based stockist Thotsaphon Kunigagorn of For Fun Film in today's installment of Lomography Partners.
Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?
Hello, My name is Thotsaphon Kunigagorn and I am the founder of For Fun Film and I run a small lab in Chiang Mai and Udon Thani. The idea of For Fun Film is from my childhood. I was really into it when I was a kid and nowadays, people are interested in and give more value to film cameras. So I thought why not start a film lab? It was from that thinking that For Fun Film was born.
What does analogue mean to you?
In my opinion, it’s classic and I had good memories of it so that's why the word "analogue" means to me so much. I remember when I was a child, my family had a lot of vacations. Every time before we head to our destination, we had to go to the film lab first to ensure that we will have enough film during the trip and the fun part was we have to make sure that the moment has a deeper meaning to us before we took the shot. We also had to make it as perfect as we could. With digital, on the other hand, there is a memory card where you can see and delete frames when you want. For me, that is the big difference between the two.
What does Lomography mean to you?
Wow, I can't really put them into words simply. Should it be a good or weird memory with Lomography? I remember the first time I saw a Lomography camera. I thought what is this and why does it look so weird and so cool at the same time? I decided to get one for my collection and as it would turn out, it quite impressed me. Now I feel very confident when I have it with me on a trip.
Why do you choose to work with Lomography?
The main reason is I would like to collect Lomography cameras as much as I could and I would like to know more about the differences between each of them in terms of taking a photo.
What is your favorite Lomography product and why?
I really love Lomography cameras because they're amazing! I love their quirks and the equally surprising films from Lomography. However, it's not just the technical aspect behind them but also the fun side of it all for me.
Are you doing any creative projects right now for the shop or personally? Please tell us more about them.
I could not do much at the moment due to the COVID-19, but usually, we have a project called “Sunday Film Photo”. This project is for everyone who's interested in film cameras, so every Sunday I organize the location and think about the concept that we would like to present for each week. We pretty much have to get everything ready as quickly as possible. I remember that during one week, we have gotten more than 50 people to join us and that was really a fun time for us. I just hope that this project will come back and we get to run it really soon.
What does the future of analogue photography look like to you? How will this impact your store in the next ten years?
That's definitely a hard question. If we only base it on Thailand, I could not really tell, but if we're talking about the whole world I think it's still pretty good. Last year was really difficult for us because of COVID-19 but I believe that it will become a lot better once the pandemic is over.
What hardship did your shop/lab have to face during the lockdowns and what kept you going through these hard times?
The only hardship was that there were not enough customers. We lost about 90% of our usual customers due to the pandemic. The only things that kept me going were my family and the feeling that I have felt when I hold a camera—hoping that one day it will become normal as usual.
What's the most annoying thing about running an analogue lab?
Each working equipment is more than 20 years old so they're very difficult to maintain. But fortunately here in Thailand, we have skilled craftsmen for film lab work.
What's your favorite memory from the lab so far?
I get to know people who like the same things! And we will always have new friends because of film photography.
What's the weirdest thing you have received when developing films?
One day, I received a film from a customer. He told me that the film was from his father who had just died. The customer wanted to know what was in it. The film roll is Kodak and it was about 30 years old. After I developed the film, the picture that came out was of his father and himself. The feeling at that moment was really inexplicable.
What would you do if you didn’t run a photo lab?
I think I'll find something new to do to cure boredom.
Official Name: For Fun Film
Began Accepting Film for Developing: 2020
Address: 129/23 Ban Phae, Soi 1, Tambon Chang Puak, Amphoe Muang, Chiang Mai 50 200
Services offered: 35mm, 120, C41, B&W, E6, Hand developed, ECN2, film sales, film scanning, printing, and darkroom
Film lab staff: 5
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